Vincent Herring: Early On
The title track, Monk’s "Evidence," features Herring, Roney, and Miller stretching out in a session similar to that of the Art Blakey ensembles; each of them has on-the-job training with the master teacher. Herring, who left college and moved to New York when he was only 19, recorded this – his third session as leader – at age 25. The hard-bop number also includes fours with drummer Allen, who does a splendid job driving the session. Ballads "Never Forget" and "Stars Fell on Alabama" provide quieter moments, while Miller’s "Soul-Leo," Cedar Walton’s "Hindsight, and Kenny Barron’s "Voyage" light the fire.
Mike Nock’s modern mainstream "Dawnbird," (the other title track) brings in Herring’s lithe soprano sax with a powerful percussion accompaniment. Mulgrew Miller’s searing piano solo inspires with enthusiasm and improvisation, creating what is clearly the session’s highlight. Billy Drummond trades fours with the front line on "Toku Do" and Miller’s "August Afternoon." His clear crisp drumstick patterns are a welcome addition. Substituting performers on "The Dark Side of Dewey," "Who’s Kidding Who," and "Dr. Jamie," Herring teams with trumpeter Scott Wendholt, pianist Kevin Hays, bassist Dwayne Burno, and drummer Carl Allen. As Orrin Keepnews muses in the original liner notes, the 1990s may long be remembered as the decade of the "young lion," but we still reserve the right to opt for good music in spite of marketing references to age or appearances. Recommended.
Track Listing: Disc One: Mr. Wizard; I Sing a Song; Stars Fell on Alabama; Voyage; Hindsight; Never Forget; Evidence; Soul-Leo.
Disc Two: Sound Check; August Afternoon; Almost Always; Toku Do; Dawnbird; Dr. Jamie; Who
Record Label: 32 Records